Multifunctional biomaterialsPhoto: Foltan/ATB
New biobased products for the bioeconomy
This program area focuses on the development of site-specific technology and processes for sustainable production of biomass in agriculture and its resource-efficient use by further processing it into biomaterials in the context of bioeconomic value chains. Establishing closed substance cycles is particularly important with regard to carbon, in order to promote the function of biomaterials as carbon sinks.
Our research activities deepen the fundamental understanding of the physical, chemical and biological processes involved in the production, pre-treatment, processing and conversion of biomass. We investigate the respective process steps exemplarily in short rotation coppice, agroforestry systems (link to YouTube), paludiculture, fiber crops and biobased products.
The common goal of our research is the development of integrated concepts for a cascading use of biomass and residues from agriculture in order to explore new ways for biomass use in terms of biorefinery systems.
Woody biomass from agriculture is an important raw material for bioeconomic value chains and offers significant potential for climate protection and energy security. Our research focuses on advanced processes for the production and sustainable use of lignocellulose for bioenergy and biomaterials, which for example can be used as fibers in the construction, pulp and paper industries or as feedstock for the production of biobased chemicals.
Our research aims at producing lignocellulosic biomass sustainably on agricultural land using fast-growing woody plants in short rotationor agroforestry systems (link to Youtube video), as well as using suitable plant species on rewetted peatland sites (paludiculture).
We are investigating the site-specific potentials of biomass production and carbon storage and are developing technical solutions for harvesting, storage and processing of woody biomass, especially in terms of energy requirements.
As a first step for the development of Digital Twins, we are designing models for plant growth and carbon storage during biomass production as well as for drying and decomposition processes of shredded biomass.
High-quality plant fibers are attractive not only for the production of textiles, they are also used as building or insulating materials in industry, for example, thus replacing fossil raw materials. In addition to well-known and unknown fiber plants such as hemp, nettle or flax, we are particularly interested in lignocellulose-containing biomasses from the co- and residual use of food, feed and energy crops.
Research focuses on the development of process technology for fiber crops along the entire value chain: from the production of biobased agricultural fiber raw materials to their technical application (Link to Youtube Video 'Hemp as construction material', in German). The wide range and high variability of different plant material properties are a particular challenge for the development of resource-efficient technologies in fiber production. We measure, analyze and model environmentally or technically induced changes in these properties and develop new methods for determining specific morphological, gravimetric or mechanical properties. This enables us to derive effective operating principles for technical facilities and even new process lines - for fiber plants and also for alternative lignocellulosic biomass from agriculture.
Another promising way to create value from organic by-products and residues is bioconversion by means of microbial fermentation. In our research, we focus on the production of lactic and succinic acid, as these two monomers are the main components for subsequent processing into bioplastics.
Understanding the entire process, starting with the screening of suitable bacterial strains, biomass pretreatment, fermentation, and the downstream purification and concentration process, requires a thorough knowledge of the individual process steps and their integration. Taking into account the variability of the starting material and the vitality of the microbial strains, we develop scientific approaches for an efficient process design. We aim to produce biochemicals as tailor-made feedstock for further processing into multifunctional biomaterials.
Up to now, after harvesting and the stationary extraction of the cones (as valuable plant components), hop plants have either been shredded or chopped up and mainly taken to the fields or left to degrade in an uncontroll…
PalFaForm – Verfahren und maschinentechnische Lösungen für eine thermo-mechanische Fasergewinnung aus Paludibiomasse zur Herstellung von innovativen Fasergussformteilen ▶
In the PalFaForm project, a novel process chain for the production of moulded fibre parts from biomass of rewetted lowland moorland in agriculture will be developed. The aim is to further develop the process of thermo-me…
EDELNASS – Veredelung von Nassgrünland-Biomasse zu Plattformchemikalien, Verpackungen, Faserguss und Papier; Teilvorhaben 2: Entwicklung und exemplarische Realisierung von Verfahren zur Gewinnung und Aufbereitu… ▶
Conventional agricultural use of peatlands requires their drainage and causes enormous GHG emissions, progressive peatland loss (slumping, decomposition, erosion), biodiversity losses, nutrient discharges and management …
TreeDigitalTwins – REGULUS - KI-basierte Verfahren zur Analyse von 4D-Punktwolken zum Aufbau Digitaler Zwillinge am Beispiel von Vegetationsbeständen, Teilprojekt 3 ▶
The aim of the joint project TreeDigitalTwins is to develop innovative AI methods for object recognition and automatic derivation of object parameters in discrete 4D point clouds and to test these methods using the examp…
At present, 60-70% of all soils are unhealthy in Europe as a result of land management practices, pollution, intensive agriculture, urbanisation, and the effects of climate change. Due to this and other biophysical const…
- Obi, O.; Pecenka, R. (2023): Briquetting of Poplar Wood from Short Rotation Coppice - The Effects of Moisture Content and Hammer Mill Screen Size. Energies. (3): p. 1454. Online: https://doi.org/10.3390/en16031454 1.0
- Orisaleye, J.; Jekayinfa, S.; Dittrich, C.; Obi, O.; Pecenka, R. (2023): Effects of Feeding Speed and Temperature on Properties of Briquettes from Poplar Wood Using a Hydraulic Briquetting Press. Resources. (1): p. 12. Online: https://doi.org/10.3390/resources12010012 1.0
- Olszewska-Widdrat, A.; Xiros, C.; Wallenius, A.; Schneider, R.; Portugal Rios da Costa Pereir, L.; Venus, J. (2023): Bioprocess optimization for lactic and succinic acid production from pulp and paper industry side stream. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. : p. 1-8. Online: https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2023.1176043 1.0
- Klongklaew, A.; Unban, K.; Kalaimurugan, D.; Kanpiengjai, A.; Azaizeh, H.; Schroedter, L.; Schneider, R.; Venus, J.; Khanongnuch, C. (2023): Bioconversion of Dilute Acid Pretreated Corn Stover to L-Lactic Acid Using Co-Culture of Furfural Tolerant Enterococcus mundtii WX1 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus SCJ9. Fermentation. (2): p. 112. Online: https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9020112 1.0
- Ioannidou, S.; López Gómez, J.; Venus, J.; Valera, M.; Eßmann, V.; Alegria-Dallo, I.; Kookos, I.; Koutinas, A.; Ladakis, D. (2023): Techno-economic evaluation and life cycle assessment for sustainable alternative biorefinery concepts using the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Green Chemistry. (11): p. 4482-4500. Online: https://doi.org/10.1039/D3GC00244F 1.0
- Pamueangmun, P.; Abdullahi, A.; Kabir, M.; Unban, K.; Kanpiengjai, A.; Venus, J.; Shetty, K.; Saenjum, C.; Khanongnuch, C. (2023): Lignocellulose Degrading Weizmannia coagulans Capable of Enantiomeric L-Lactic Acid Production via Consolidated Bioprocessing. Fermentation. : p. 1-16. Online: https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation9080761 1.0
- Dumfort, S.; Lenz, H.; Ascher-Jenull, J.; Oliveira Longa, C.; Zöhrer, J.; Insam, H.; Pecenka, R. (2023): The effect of calcium hydroxide on the storage behaviour of poplar wood chips in open-air piles. Biomass & Bioenergy. (October 2023): p. 106945. Online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2023.106945 1.0
- Precup, G.; Venus, J.; Heiermann, M.; Schneider, R.; Pop, I.; Vodnar, D. (2022): Chemical and Enzymatic Synthesis of Biobased Xylo-Oligosaccharides and Fermentable Sugars from Wheat Straw for Food Applications. Polymers. (7): p. 1336. Online: https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14071336 1.0
- Hernandez Estrada, A.; Pecenka, R.; Dumfort, S.; Ascher-Jenull, J.; Lenz, H.; Idler, C.; Hoffmann, T. (2022): Establishment of a Laboratory Scale Set-Up with Controlled Temperature and High Humidity to Investigate Dry Matter Losses of Wood Chips from Poplar during Storage. Forests. (3): p. 459. Online: https://doi.org/10.3390/f13030459 1.0
- Montero-Zamora, J.; Rojas-Vagas, M.; Barboza, N.; López Gómez, J.; Mora-Villalobos, J.; Redondo-Solano, M. (2022): Potential of New Bacterial Strains for a Multiproduct Bioprocess Application: A Case Study Using Isolates of Lactic Acid Bacteria from Pineapple Silage of Costa Rican Agro-Industrial Residues. Fermentation. (8): p. 361. Online: https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation8080361 1.0